Job description:

Motivating and leading a high-performing team at REDI as well as developing and implementing economic development initiatives to accommodate the objectives of the organization, the city, and the Boone County region. Also, ensuring a vibrant local economy through job creation.

Years lived in Columbia/mid-Missouri:

One year (and counting!).

Original hometown:

Phoenix, Arizona.


Bachelor of Science, Northern Arizona University.

Professional background:

Following graduation from NAU, I worked in advertising for two newspapers in Arizona and then began my career in tourism as the director of sales and marketing for Little America Hotel and Resort. After 10 years with that property, I became the director of the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau, which led me to the field of economic development as the city’s economic vitality director, where I discovered my true passion. I was fortunate to lead 31 staff members and oversee three programs that were the economic engines for northern Arizona: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, tourism, and economic development, which included business attraction, expansion, and retention; entrepreneurship; historic preservation; community design; and redevelopment.

Why I’m passionate about my job:

There’s no question that I love what I do. I get to work with the best staff in the world and our job is to create jobs and provide opportunities for people to succeed — what could be more rewarding than that?

Why I’m passionate about my company:

REDI affords me the opportunity to work with both the public and private sectors and see collaboration at its best.

If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would:

I would own an antique shop with my husband.

What people should know about this profession:  Economic development is 24/7; efforts are nonstop and highly demanding in order to keep our economy moving.


Favorite volunteer/community activity:

In Flagstaff, I volunteered with numerous community organizations over the years, including the Flagstaff Family Food Center, United Way of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff Symphony, and Flagstaff Leadership Program. As I’m still settling in here in Columbia, I’m eagerly looking for opportunities to continue that work.

My next professional goal:

Assist in efforts to improve air service and build a new terminal for Columbia Regional Airport to ensure we are meeting the growing transportation needs of the residents in our region.

Biggest lesson learned in business:

To always be sincere and listen to everyone — even people with opposing viewpoints.

A Columbia businessperson I admire and why:

Teresa Maledy, CEO and president of Commerce Bank for the central Missouri region. I admire her work-life balance, and especially her focus on family. She is passionate about education, volunteers her time and is actively involved, and is very successful in her career. Teresa is truly a community-minded individual that Columbia is very fortunate to have.

A favorite recent project:

The recently remodeled Innovation Hub at REDI. The space now features new furnishings, a collaborative workspace, and the addition of two semi-private offices. Not to mention that we’ve established new and improved programs to support Hub clients and are working closely with the multitude of resources available to entrepreneurs and startups in our community.

The next challenge facing my industry:

The greatest challenge in economic development is that the challenges are constant and often unpredictable, so you don’t always know what the next big challenge is going to be until you’re facing it.


“The greatest challenge in economic development is that the challenges are constant and often unpredictable.”



Greatest strength:

Bringing people together for successful outcomes.

Greatest weakness:

Antiques — there’s no shop I won’t stop at!

How you would like to impact the Columbia community:

Improve the quality of life for residents through increased job opportunities.

What I do for fun:

I love the outdoors, walking our property, and flower gardening.


Husband, Derek, 19-year-old daughter, Emily, and Annie, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Favorite place in Columbia:

All of it! I’m still discovering all the great places here.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of:

My beautiful red-headed daughter, Emily — she’s my pride and joy!

Most people don’t know that I:

I am incredibly directionally challenged. North? South? East? West? Thank goodness for GPS!

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